Verse from my book, 'Savor Eternity,' collage by Rashani Réa


Those who are embodied need no concept of "embodiment." Let us meditate in the body, through the body, dissolving the duality of consciousness and matter. Taste the glory of this human physiology, whose edgeless flame trembles on the wick of the sushumna nadi. Let the Milky Way pour down our spine with every breath. Each proton in an atom of our bone is threaded to its native star. Each cell of our flesh is a well of Transcendental Consciousness, irradiating the cosmos. We know that the neurons in this brain, this heart, this solar plexus, are not merely conductors of consciousness, but are made out of consciousness, as the shape of a wave is made out of the formless sea. And we know the Truth about God and Flesh not by thinking, but by its flavor. Why else would the Hebrew poet sing, "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34)? Why else would Christ invite us to the banquet, saying, "Take, eat, this is my body (Luke 22)?

Photo by Kristy Thompson

Who Drove Majnoon Crazy?


There is a space beyond

this need for wings,

or the wings inside wings.

Stop arriving. 

Just know you are 

always here.

Through a broken fence

the plum branch has been reaching

all Winter for the blossom

it already held. 

Once known, the fragrance 

does not need the petal.

Majnoon went mad in the forest

imagining that the daughter

of the King was someone

other than his own soul.

This poem was painted

with the light of the full moon

on the bone ceiling of my emptiness.

If you know who drove

Majnoon crazy,

you are truly my Friend!



September now.

I hear petals weeping,

singed with their own fire.
I hear seeds grieving lost goldenrod
and mountains gliding home on clouds.
I still follow the glistening pilgrimage

of that old summer snail

across the hosta leaf.

But I gave up world sorrow
for the hidden pain of love,
gave up charity and pity to gaze

into your face, where I find everyone.
With a single inhalation,

I bind and heal the wounds of

rich and poor, oppressor and victim alike.

My brain is busy with forgiveness.

Heart murmurs of gratitude in

both chambers, the empty one susurrates

“thank you” to the one that pours, 

then offers back the ancient gift 

of grandmother’s blood.

My temple is the ruined garden,
my alter the sky.
We hold satsang in the wetlands,
the frogs, blackbirds, and I.
When in doubt, I take off my shoes

and walk barefoot in wet grass

at midnight, un-naming the stars.

There’s really no other way

to get through this miracle.

It’s not the world that makes us suffer,

friend, but our judgments about it.
And surely, the last judgment
is the silence of a white chrysanthemum
bursting under the Autumn moon.
This is the Gospel of Astonishment.


With the tincture
of awareness
moisten the soft
ragged cloth
of this breath
to polish the grail
of your heart
until the golden
emptiness itself
becomes wine.
Thirst for this thirst
and drink.
There is plenty.
Be quenched
by yearning.
Photo by Kristy Thompson



You didn’t come to this planet

to worship a pair of sandals

or a white robe.

You didn’t come to this planet

to be for the party of the left

or the party of the right,

to be a Christian or a Muslim,

a Black or a White.

You did not come here

to get angry with reflections

in a mirror,

or get drunk on disasters

that never quite happen.

You came to be dumbfounded

by a dust mote,

to be torn in pieces

by laughter and pain,

then made One

by the tang of a berry

on your wild tongue.

Why waste another moment

arguing for or against,

when you could slip back

on a soft-as-moonlight 

beam of breath into

the radiance you are?

Keep (A Poem from 'Wounded Bud')

Transmute the pollen of sexual yearning
to golden soul honey.

Make flowers luminous and cause
all gardens to share one light.

Balance the world on your hips and
move them the way cocoa beans ferment.

Be how the tongue gets sweet without sugar.
How all the Gopis love the same Bridegroom

yet each kisses him chastely, in her own
unique faithfulness.

How heaven bubbles over into earth,
the sap fused with its petal.

On the borderline between your body and its aura
there's a marketplace for atoms of delight.

The contraband is innocence, the price, surrender.
Jesus was a bee-keeper, Mary a maker of mead.

So you should keep this secret
and store up radiance.


 Gospel of Thomas Coptic Text

"Jesus said: The person who drinks from my mouth will become like me, and I will become that person. The hidden things will be revealed." ~Gospel of Thomas, 108

"Miracles" are natural phenomena occurring in energy at higher rates of vibration, energy levels which physicists have simply not yet mathematically described. When we say "vibrations of energy," what is the energy that vibrates? It isn't any "God particle," any "thing" that could ever be perceived by Consciousness, because it is Consciousness itself.

Our culture will be transformed, and the curriculum we teach our children in schools will be utterly changed, when physicists finally learn to include Consciousness in the equations they use to describe the world. Until then, the masses of humanity, including the majority of so-called "intellectuals," will continue to suffer the delusion that the material world is somehow separate from the one who perceives it, and the object is separate from the subject.

All great spiritual traditions share this in common: at their root is a methodology of meditation that infuses more and more Consciousness into every atom of the nervous system, for these atoms are in fact atoms of Consciousness. This method of meditation is not an out-of-body experience, but a hyper-embodied experience, penetrating and finally dissolving the duality, without denying its appearance.

We say, "without denying the appearance," because, while there is only One, the Many appear in the effulgence of the One. Unity bubbles over as diversity, while remaining One. There is only Consciousness, but it manifests as Subject and Object. Those who try to erase the appearance and live "as though" all is the same, get trapped in an ignorance even deeper than those who live in duality. 

The truly "enlightened" are not those who deny the appearance, but those who know how to dance as Two while remaining at rest in One. They are not just teachers, they are shamans, who actually do what they teach. They dwell in the world, but not of the world. And for the greater good of all sentient creatures, they work with illusions, masks, and appearances, without being trapped by them.

Jesus was a master Shaman. He changed water into wine, multiplied loaves, and resurrected the body. Whether you take these "miracles" as real or symbolic, you arrive at the same truth about the world. And Jesus was not alone.

Those like him have walked among us too. Spiritually, they are elder brothers and sisters, not "masters." They irradiate the ordinary with extraordinary power, and illuminate the shadowed world of forms with the formless light of the Self. We may praise and revere them as Other. But their timeless message is always the same: "Do not worship me. Do not believe in me. Become what I Am."

Why Waste Your Life Believing?


Why waste your life believing

that the sun is above,

the earth below, only to

discover too late, too late

that starlight gushes from every nerve

just at the spot in your body

where dancing begins?


Why travel from here to there?

All journeys are over

but the deepening of now.


Your heart beat is the shaman's drum.

Don't move: be moved.

One treasure is left to find:

the light you were

before you started the search.


Spring is an intuition crinkled in cocoons:

your laughter can do something about that.

Ferns make fists all Winter,

waiting for your deeper breath.


Forget everything you’ve been taught

and take some responsibility!

Fall on your face in the blackest soil

among the murmuring golden bulbs

and confess, “This is all incomprehensible!”


Lay claim to the Kingdom of Wonder.

Fall down, fall down.

Touch heaven with your knees.


When you discover that
each breath is nectar

indescribably sweet,

and the space between

your heartbeats is

the silence between stars,

and the one who

encircles you with

unfathomable compassion

is inside,

and the luminous hollow

of each nerve in your body

echoes with the sound

that created all things,

then you are rich.

You need nothing.

You can begin to live

in the moonlight,

the sensation of dew

on bare feet,

the smell of honeysuckle,

the sparkling transparency

of this perishing moment.

A Message To You Healthy Folks

You had a dimple of tenderness

on top of your skull

when you were a baby.

Then bones closed over and sealed you in,

safe from the whirl of night,

its whispering invitation to dissolve.

But in some of us the portal didn't close.

The silken sap that oozes through our vertebrae

gets spooled back to its galaxy.

Our breath is a broken rosary of crystal planets

spilling into an empty glass.

Each sigh is unconditional surrender.

A black hole tethers our attention to no thing.

The glittering gyre of darkness reels us in,

dragging our roots toward fire like upside-down roses.

Yet our wounds connect us,

letting beams of moonlight in.

And when we break wide open,

one endless ray flows through all bodies.

Don't be hasty to harden your bruise

and proclaim yourself a healer.

Bruises are windows.

Be an opening, not a knower.

I know that it’s voguish to say

you are of the earth,

but for those who have no choice,

only half a Self dwells here.

The rest is there, watching what sleeps,

breathing uncreated warmth down to

the buried bulbs of a famished heart.

This flesh is made of fallen offerings.

The petals are edible.

And we know the Truth, not by thinking,

but by its fragrance.

Photo by Kristy

Why is Loitering a Crime?

"I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass." (Walt Whitman)

For Whitman, the bottom line was poetry. Whitman, Keats, Shelly and Wordsworth spent quality time mindfully loafing. Out of their moments of non-doing came sublime literature.

For Jesus and the poets of the Bible, the bottom line was prophecy. Fasting in the desert, they also fasted from work. But their vision changed civilizations.

Even scientists practice periods of intentional loafing. Einstein's theory of relativity had its inception in a daydream, when he imagined what it would be like to slide down a beam of sunlight.

In our corporate culture, the bottom line isn't poetry or prophecy, but profit. In many American cities, you can get arrested for loitering. Daydreaming is considered a waste of time. Loafing is no longer a respectable spiritual practice, but a threat to monthly production quotas, and the national GNP.

What happened on BP's oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is a direct result of corporate thinking. Maintain frenetic productivity each minute of every hour. Take whatever short-cuts you need to meet production quotas. Don't stop for a single moment to listen, reflect, and ask, "What the hell are we really accomplishing? Is this happiness?" Even the multi-millionaire president of the company ends up whining, "I want my life back."

Corporate America wants your children to become diligent, productive little drones who never practice the subversive art of mindful loafing. They are already learning this lifestyle in their schools. The oligarchs who run this country know that, if we spend time loafing, we might actually become aware. 

God forbid the worker bee doubt the fate of the hive. God forbid we come to realize, in a precious moment of loitering, that our cultural hive is bound to collapse, because it is based on a contradiction.

Our philosophical, religious and literary heritage teaches us that happiness is the fruit of simplicity, temperance and the renunciation of gross materialism. Yet our economy runs on constant spending and expansion of GNP: every citizen's duty is the accumulation of far more than anyone actually needs.

Clearly, the solution to our social, political, and environmental problems is a new lifestyle: a lifestyle of simpler, more sustainable earth-friendly living. Yet the fact is, if we ever stopped buying extraneous junk, redundant technologies, and more shoes than we could wear out in a lifetime, our economy would collapse.

You really don't want to think about this, do you? Better get back to work. Besides, if you start asking too many questions, you might get arrested for loitering.


One breath
gently rends the veil
between the vision
and its nerve,
who you are and who
you thought you were.
Just pay a little more
attention to what flows
in and out.
A new creation begins
the moment you stop
blaming others.
They are not responsible
for this body,
which was whirling,
glittering in distant stars
before you were conceived.
Now walk softly
on the planet,
not like an owner
but a guest.
If you don't know how
to become hollow,
how can you be filled with music?

Photo by Neil Dickie

I Am The Wine

How are "self-help" and "self-control" working out for you? For me, they are illusions. "I" am not very helpful to "me." I can no more control my life than a falling leaf controls the breeze. But I can surrender. I can sink. I can fall into the Grace of the Divine.

As I get older, I plunge deeper into the sap, traveling down the stem, drowning in the seed. There I explode into a scarlet blossom of death, the one you see in your garden.

I am the wine you love to smell in those invisible breaths of pollen. I make the medicine drip from berries in your pineal gland. It clatters down a string of pearls in your vertebrae toward the place your songs come from. What kisses happen in the jasmine pistil at the center of your hypothalamus? I have seen them. They set off thunder under your breast bone.

I know what the sound of unseen wings in your heart means, and how often stars make wishes on your fingertips. I scent what inebriates the wind rummaging through your garden at midnight. If you knew what I know, which is almost nothing, yet much tastier than the knowledge of philosophers, you would not take a single footstep for granted.

Removing your shoes, your graduation gown, your underwear, you would reel glistening softly through the forest tonight, yes tonight! letting the golden moon make honey of your silence.

Photo by Peter Sheffler



Pilgrim, isn't it time 
to depart from the kingdom 
of fear? Time to begin 
your journey over the ocean 
of surrender.
This body is a frail boat,
but your vast sail 
unfurls before the breath 
of the Beloved.
Whether the night is
or clustered with stars,
this is a journey 
of safe-keeping.
You move through waves
of dream and sleep
under the boundless dome
of the Mother's silence.


Embodied dough.
Lump of anger moist
with of grief and pain.
Not gluten-free either.
Stiff beaten marrow, cold
sourdough folds
of muscle and cruor.
Knead it, punch it down.
Let it rise.
Punch it down again.
Expand into a brown-gold
beam of dawn
permeated with the breath
of wheat fields.
Cook over coals of gratitude
until the fragrance melts
your heart and fills
the temple of your bones.
You are baked.
You are the golden loaf.
As long as you share this body
each crumb has the flavor
of the whole sun.
You didn’t get in this oven
to be a lump of dough,
to stay sticky and heavy
with anger, grief, and trauma.
You’re here to get kneaded.
You're the ancestral recipe
for good bread.
So punch it down and let it
rise again, filled
with an exhalation
of thanksgiving.
And when it's finished say,
"Take, eat, this is my body,
the golden loaf given for you,
clustered with galaxies,
buttery with stars."
Then tear yourself into little
pieces and feed multitudes.


I breathe in darkness, breathe out light, but pranayam is not my way. I bend and bow and honor the tides in my spine, but asanas are not my way.


I savor the name of God, but the Word is not my way. I honor the Guru, but my path has no master. 


Though I listen to the songs and suras of the wise, I follow not the Vedas, the Torah, the Qur'an.


I give to those in need, but the path of seva is not for me. I surrender, Lord, but even You, even You, are not my way. Parasam Gateh, “beyond the beyond,” is wherever I am right now. 


With no chant, no alter, no eucharist or puja, I wander in the forest, offering the silence of cedar, trillium, fern.


At midnight, soundless owl wings, bright knives of un-knowing, slice through the glory of darkness. Coyote howl is my song.


And because the light of primeval stars is only now arriving in my body, I am awake. 


Each electron bathes in the glory of its origin. Every photon collides with the darkest particle of its other self. I follow the wordless path of this breath Om.


But my way is not a journey, it passes neither in nor out, but shatters every window between seer and seen, sinking every vessel in the ocean of transparency.


I have trillions of eyes, gazing into the well of eternal aloneness, where past and future kiss, annihilating time. This very moment is the diamond of my awakening.


 I achieve the beatific vision of celestial mansions, simply by gazing at the motionless explosion of a rose.


Every religion a blood-colored petal of this, but I would offer the whole flower, the wounded bud which opens in all directions at once.


Where I Am there are no steps, no degrees of initiation, no levels one to seven: only fragrances, only dissolving.


Each lineage of masters is a pollen mote, but I have sticky feet. I visit the center, where the nectar is made in secret darkness. 


Down where pistil and stamen touch in a throb of stillness, I make honey. Come, drink from my heart.


Photo by Aile Shebar

No Problem

 The plight of the spiritual ego used to be "holier than thou." Now it's "more traumatized than thou." But the plight is exactly the same: mind identifies with the story of its precious "me," instead of resting in the nature of pure awareness, which has no center to call me and no circumference to call a problem.


Good gardening is midwifery.

Don't be afraid to finger the root,

testing nerves of mycelia, sending thumbs

along the bone of Spring, blindly probing

the dark, guided by a spasm of bulbs,

turning the breached child toward its world.


Don't be afraid to tap absences, black holes

where fur sleeps, curled in a dream of moons,

seeds hunker in secret white heat, or to probe

among the buds where beaks weave

twigs into a whirling stillness for the egg.

Be your own ember.

The sun might disappoint you.


The destination is gray stuff in cocoons,

neither wing nor worm.

You pretend to know the conclusion,

but the journey dissolves in crepuscule,

a deer path winding back into the green

gloom of wildness, a labyrinth, with you

forever standing at the center, lost.


It's been raining all day. Feral poppies

poke red dwarf stars from vigils of loam,

enchanted by the grief of sky.

What is your knowledge compared

to the yearning of the shadow for its cause?


Let darkness be your asymptote. Bend light.

Winter nearly touches Spring now.


Just keep dancing at the center of dusk,

coaxing hyacinths to bloom

from the hollow between your thoughts,

encouraging clouds to breathe, push, crown...

deliver the raindrop.

Artist: Wendy Andrew

In The Beginning


Go back to the shock of your birth and just accept it without forming a concept. All suffering arose from the attempt to form a concept to explain the explosion of the universe.Go back to that moment, but this time don't invent a mind of shock like the one you invented before, and before, and before, all the way back to the beginning of the dream, the dream that is only a reaction to the unendurable astonishment of your birth. Have compassion for this mind you formed as a reaction to the explosion of consciousness. This mind has been contracting the cosmos into a limited idea in your head ever since that first moment. Now go back, T'shuvah, return. That is the only religion, the only prayer, the only path. Forgive yourself. Then don't react anymore. 

Kiss the rose of creation, bury your nose in its fragrant madness. The flowering of the cosmos has no purpose, no direction, no plan, no design. "Design" and "purpose" are concepts projected onto that ineffable explosion by the fear-mind, and the mind is made of that fear. Now be born again without the fear, without the mind. Embrace the explosion of the rose, and be honored that you are the Witness. Just be the rose witnessing itself in the mirror of its own consciousness. You are both the object and the subject. The world radiates out of the brilliant mirror of your Self. 

When you embrace the rose with all your heart, the flower is solid as a diamond and the thorns are soft as petals. There is only bliss, because there are no boundaries. Bliss is not a reward for getting it "right," or "understanding," or "finding" an answer to be sought. There's nothing to seek and therefor any search is itself the cause of suffering. 

When this seeking for an explanation dissolves, bliss simply Is. The boundless pervades every appearance of boundaries. You are the cosmic rose swirling with galaxies, atoms, barking dogs, children's faces, dandelions. And don't even begin to try to understand why you have a body. Evidently, the universe blossomed into your eyes, your ears, your nostrils, your skin, just to witness the ineluctable explosion of its rose. What arises in the total embrace of this moment of eternal birth is not fear, doubt, and confusion, but gratitude.

Stars Confess

Through the wickless glow of your bones, 

stars confess their unendurable longing for you.  

Child of primeval catastrophes

your protons were born of furious distant love.

Now you rest in the ancient lineage 

of the present moment.

But you already knew this. 

Have you not survived the withering  

crossfire of your father’s blood?

Didn't you learn everything 

from your mother’s shadow?

Fall softly through the blessed void,  

a quivering braid of honeyed wine  

splashing into a dark chalice. 

Yet you've come for a violent salud.

How many times must one grail break

against another, before you remember

that this smoldering in the soul is your flesh?

Find the moonless hollow of eternity 

pulsing through each bead of time.

Come and starve for ten thousand years,  

then get drunk on a buttercup. 

Remember your name in the murmur 

of desultory frogs entwined in fetid delight 

among the mud-sprung water lilies.

Breathe even here.